Shalom Life | July 08, 2015

Store of Nazi Weapons Discovered in German Basement

Among the ordinance found was a Panther tank, a torpedo, and numerous other pieces of illegal weaponry

By: B. Shane Morganstein

Published: July 7th, 2015 in News » World

Photo: Nazi-era weapons discovered in basement

Credit: NDR


German police have discovered a weapons cache dating back to WWII in the cellar of a villa in Heikendorf, in the north of Germany.

After raiding the cellar, police discovered a 45 ton Panther tank dating back to 1943, a flak cannon, a torpedo, and other WWII-era military weapons.

German officials were originally tipped off that something might be amiss in the rural town after Berlin prosecutors visited the Heikendorf villa last year, searching for stolen art. The story comes in the wake of numerous recent discoveries in Germany, including the discovery of 1,500 art pieces looted by the Nazis hidden in a Munich apartment.

The unnamed owner of the villa and the weapons, currently 78 years-old, is now being investigated for potentially breaking German weapons laws. However, according to the homeowner's lawyer, the weapons were all demilitarized and could not fire, meaning that they should not be in contravention of the War Weapons Control Act. However, even if he is not charged with violating the War Weapons Control Act, the elderly man could be charged with trading or collecting Nazi memorabilia.

However, many citizens of Heikendorf are surprised at the sudden attention brought to their small community, since the existence of the weapons cache was common knowledge among the community. As reported in The Blaze:

The tank owner has made no secret of his collection, openly talking about the Panther and other items in media reports following the May revelation of the art investigation.

The town’s mayor noted that the owner even drove the tank around decades ago. His neighbor Kristin Schroeder told the local Kieler Nachrichten newspaper a similar story, saying that in the 1970s he used it to help plow snow.

“It was well known, at least to all the older Kitzebergers, that he had a tank,” Schroeder said.

NDR reported that the man’s property is rather reclusive, located off a private road with a concrete wall and barbed wire protecting it from beach access.

A video of the 9-hour long process of removing the tank from the villa's cellar can be seen here.

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